Holidays at Pequot House, Connecticut

As I just posted about the Thorn family holidays to Dieppe, I decided that the family’s regular trips to Pequot House deserved its own post. Just to remind you, I found it first mentioned in Mrs Thorn’s will:

For many years before her death, Lady Thorn, accompanied by her family, spent the summer months at the Pequot House, New London, Conn., until it began to be thought by the frequenters of New London that her years would fill up a century there she should close her remarkable career. The last summer she spent there she was noticed to be very frail, and much changed. Her death occurred soon after, at which time she was over 90 years of age.

Pequot House was a playground for the wealthy of the time located on the Thames River in New London. The hotel – house – accommodated 400 plus guests, and later on ten “charming” cottages were added to allow for its popularity.

The grounds were “handsomely adorned…” [there was] an “enchanting view from all sides” [which] rendered it a little paradise. Entertainments included croquet, an orchestra, and terpsichorean (dancing??) activities.

An advertisement in the New York Tribune in 1857 read:

PEQUOT HOUSE, New-London, Conn.. This favorite Summer Hotel if NOW OPEN for the reception of guests. The House is delightfully situated at the mouth of tbe river Thames, on Long Island Sound. It is elegantly furnished and possesses superior advantages for sea bathing, sailing or fishing. It has been newly painted and put in conplete repair, and improvements added to its former accommodations. It is accessible from New-York by steamers Commonwealth
and Connecticut, or by railroad via New Haven also by Long Island Railroad…

In 1870, the Pequot Chapel was built so that guests did not have to travel to worship and this proved to be hugely successful. Similarly to Dieppe, a casino was built and a colony established around it as well.

Pequot House remained a favourite of the Thorn family, even after Mrs Thorn died. Mr and Mrs Eugene Thorn (Louisa Stephens) were listed on the social register as visitors in 1894.

Though the house burned down in the early 1900’s and the casino is now a private residence, there are apparently still echoes of the past if you visit there.

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